Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I just hate seeing waste. Wasting food, productive land, talent and time are my pet bugs when it comes to waste. I heard recently that in Brisbane one in five full shopping bags of food we bring home goes to the tip. We’re really throwing away our hard-earned cash.
It’s got me thinking about the uses for old or excess ‘stuff’ like carpet that would normally be tossed out.
Wool carpet is a gem, with many garden uses. Lay it over a garden bed instead of mulch in the period between preparing the soil and planting, to prevent soil erosion. It’s also great to put over a newly-constructed no-dig bed for a fortnight while it all settles prior to planting. For a few months we had it laid over our grass, killing it before turning the spot into a new trenched compost heap then a planting bed for the grape vine.

Carpet laid over a compost heap allows air and moisture to circulate while keeping flies out. Carpet strips or tiles make a good weed-suppressing path or edge for your vegie garden too. All in all, carpet is for one, too good to waste.

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Comment by Linda Brennan on June 18, 2010 at 17:55
The carpet treatment for moths is not long lasting and by the time your carpet goes onto the compost or ground, it will probably be inert. We also recognise that compost is a living community of biodegrading organisms, so they will deal with many chemicals pretty effectively. An example of this is the use of compost and other microbes to remediate contaminated soils.
Comment by Vanessa Collier on June 16, 2010 at 20:05
You could also use carpet as a moisture mat for a worm farm - we go through cardboard and newspaper really quickly because they eat it.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on June 14, 2010 at 19:14
Wool carpet ... if you can find any! I understand it has some kind of insecticide within it to kill/deter cloth moths or similar. Is this true? And if so, how would the leached toxins effect the garden?

On paths I imagine that the synthetic carpet would give long life since it doesn't rot.

Years ago Greening Australia bought warehouse-floors-full of underlay - some kind of natural fibre vaguely resembling copra. It was full of dust (achoo!) but along with a large group of enthusiasts, I spent some days cutting this stuff into squares to be used in GA planting projects. This material is very hard to find these days since most underlays are plasticy rather than natural.
Comment by Donna on June 14, 2010 at 15:44
It is terrible that we waste so much food, unfortunately the 'fresh' produce in the shop doesn't last the distance at home. With working full time and raising children I barely have time to shop once a week - certainly not every time I need something - a great reason for growing the majority of your own produce.

What I find is worse is that a lot of people don't have a compost bin or chickens but put all that food into the rubbish bin!

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

The Vetiver Community Project is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

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